Awards of Excellence — 2011 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Awards of Excellence — 2011 Recipient

Durham Consolidated Courthouse
Award Category: 
Awards of Excellence
Green Building (Administered in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council)

WZMH Architects

With its richly patterned cladding of spandrel and clear glass and carefully scaled massing, the Durham Consolidated Courthouse makes a significant contribution to the emerging urban framework of downtown Oshawa. Its bold, modern vocabulary emphasizes transparency and openness both for users and passers-by. A large outdoor public space, Courthouse Square, is the forecourt to the building entrance and creates opportunities for civic engagement. Providing badly needed space for the Province´s judicial system, this $190M six-storey, 40,000 m² structure houses 33 courtrooms, associated support space and prisoner-holding facilities. For planning efficiency, high-volume functions are located at or close to grade.  The courthouse is the first LEED Gold NC building completed for the Province of Ontario. 

Jury Comment(s): 

"This building revitalizes the downtown core and provides a contextual response to a complex architectural challenge. The project provides landscaped open areas and a gateway to the downtown."

"In energy terms, the closest any project got to having a sustainability driver was with the Durham County Courthouse, where due to the P3 procurement method the constructors must efficiently operate the building for 30 years as part of the lowest cost bid. The Durham Consolidated Courthouse is also an accomplished piece of public architecture, and accordingly was selected as the top project."

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photos: Shai Gil